Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Native american tribes
Over four hundred years ago, English colonists trying to settle on Roanoke Island
encountered many Native Americans along the coast. At that time more than thirty
Native American tribes were living in present-day North Carolina. They spoke languages
derived from three language groups, the Siouan, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.
Where did these Native Americans come from? Who were their prehistoric ancestors?
How do we know anything at all about them?
None of the prehistoric Native Americans who lived in North America had developed
any sort of written language. They relied instead on oral traditions, such as storytelling,
to keep records of their origins, myths, and histories. Our present knowledge of
prehistoric inhabitants of this state depends on rare early historical accounts and,
especially, on information gained through archaeology.
Prehistoric Native Americans
Archaeologists can trace the ancestry of Native Americans to at least twelve thousand
years ago, to the time of the last Ice Age in the Pleistocene epoch. During the Ice Age,
ocean levels dropped and revealed land that had
previously been under the Bering Sea. Native
American ancestors walked on that land from
present-day Siberia to Alaska. Evidence suggests
that their population grew rapidly and that they
settled throughout Canada, the Great Plains, and the
Eastern Woodlands, which included the North
The climate on the eastern seaboard was wetter and
cooler twelve thousand years ago. Many species of
animals roamed the forests and grasslands of our
area, including now extinct examples of elephants
(mastodons), wild horses, ground sloths, and giant
bison. Other animals, now absent from the
Southeast, included moose, caribou, elk, and
Conjectured migration routes of the
first Americans. Courtesy of the N.C.
Office of Archives and History.
2 ©2005 North Carolina Museum of History
Office of Archives and History, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
Paleo-Indians, as archaeologists call those first people, hunted for these animals in groups
using spears. They used the animals’ meat, skins, and remaining parts for food, clothing,
and other needs. They also spent considerable time gathering wild plant foods and may
have caught shellfish and fish. These first inhabitants of North Carolina were nomads,
which means they moved frequently across the land in search of food and other
Descendants of the Paleo-Indians are called Archaic Indians. They occupied eastern
North America from about 9000 to 2000 B.C. As the Ice Age ended, the types of forests
in the Southeast gradually changed and became more like those of today. Archaic
Indians adapted their techniques of gathering, hunting, and fishing to the environments of
this new Holocene epoch.
This is just a short extract about the native americans settling in North Carolina by Stephen R. Claggett. Here the account tells us that native americans hunted using spears and when they killed an animal they used pretty much all of the animal, not just to eat the meat. One bit of the article that I find most interesting is the animals mentioned in it that we no longer hear about today; "caribou and elk". Futhermore also the three different languages used, Siouan, Iroquoian, and Algonquian. Clearly the article shows us that the native americans were very resourceful and could travel around quite easily as long as they could find animals to kill.